Fintech startup N26 is opening an office, its fourth, in Vienna. Eventually, the company plans to hire 300 software engineers, product managers and IT specialists.
This is interesting news, as the company says that the new tech hub will focus on security, in particular detecting fraudulent activity. N26 plans to use artificial intelligence to develop a sort of real-time risk scoring system. The company will compare card transactions with your smartphone location, as well.
Multiple articles have highlighted a handful of cases of fraud in recent weeks. Customers tried to use N26 for money-laundering purposes. It took some time before N26 reacted and closed those accounts.
Every bank suffers from this kind of issue. In France, BNP Paribas, Société Générale, Crédit Agricole and Crédit Mutuel have all been fined in the past, for instance. But it’s interesting to see how N26 is reacting to those risks.
N26 has experienced tremendous growth, and the startup wants to scale its workforce appropriately so that it’s not short-staffed when faced with those issues. Similarly, it creates challenges when it comes to customer support and average response time.
It’s in the company’s best interest to follow strict rules when it comes to fraudulent activity — as a company with a banking license, N26 is regularly audited. N26 sent me the following statement a couple of weeks ago regarding audits:
N26, as all licensed banks, is subject to regular internal and external independent audits, including those by regulatory bodies such as BaFin, the German Financial Authority. Since we have a German bank license, we’re supervised by BaFin and audited on a regular basis. Any findings are promptly reviewed, implemented and monitored in coordination with the BaFin. We strive to meet all requirements consistently and take any required measures as quickly as possible.
As a bank it is imperative to continuously evaluate and i